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Hiker Safety Tips For Hunting Season

Two hunters depart from a hunting camp for an evening hunt wearing blaze orange, in line with advice from hunting safety experts.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to reminds all Vermonters — hunters and non-hunters alike — to take precautions and make sure everyone share the woods this fall.

Most of the hunting in Vermont happens during deer season each Fall. Bow hunting has been underway for three weeks already, but the largest numbers of hunters are out in the woods during the 16-day rifle season in November. Nicole Meier is an education specialist with Fish and Wildlife's Hunter Education Program. She gives these tips to hikers, cyclists and other non-hunters to stay safe in the woods:

  • Wear bright colors. An orange vest is particularly helpful during rifle season.
  • Plan outings around the middle of the day. The lighting is better and fewer people are hunting then.
  • Walk dogs on leash and consider getting a bright orange collar or vest for your dog.
  • Stick to high-use public areas or trails. Hunters tend to avoid areas where many other people are already hiking or walking their dogs.
  • Know when hunting takes place. Season dates are available in the free Vermont Hunting and Trapping Official Regulations Digest, available at gas stations and general stores, and at

Fall 2018 hunting seasons in Vermont:

September 1 - November 9: Black bear (early season)

October 6 - November 2: Deer (bow and arrow)

October 6-19: Turkey (bow and arrow)

October 20 - November 4: Turkey (shotgun, bow and arrow)

November 3-4: Youth deer weekend (rifle)

November 10-18: Black bear (late season)

November 10-25: Deer (rifle)

December 1-9: Deer (bow and arrow, muzzleloader)

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